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Symposium offers respite from 'cabin fever'

It has definitely been a strange winter weather-wise. Spring-like warm days have followed days of pouring rain followed by a day or two of frigid temperatures. A few snowflakes have even fluttered down. If the crazy weather is making you feel crazy, the Cleveland County Master Gardeners (CCMG) are offering a respite. The group's third annual garden symposium, appropriately titled "Cabin Fever," is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Student Activities Center at Cleveland Community College in Shelby. This year's theme is "Adding Value to Your Landscape."

"This is our third year of offering classes on all aspects of gardening from beginners all the way through professionals in the landscape field," says Anne Eskridge, cochair for this year's symposium.

A wide variety of presenters will be featured at the symposium:

Dr. Larry Mellichamp is director emeritus of the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) Botanical Gardens and a recently retired professor of botany and horticulture at UNCC. He will offer the opening keynote address on "Why Grow Native Plants?" as well as the closing keynote on "Some of the Best Southeastern Natives for the Home Landscape."

Robert "Craig" Mauney is a NC Cooperative Extension Area Specialized Agent for Commercial Vegetable & Fruit Production in the Western Region. He will speak on the topic of "The Edible Landscape."

Known as the "lavender lady," Pam Fish is the owner of Lucy Mae Lavender Farm in Haywood County and is a lavender grower with experience in Cleveland and Durham counties. She was a health and physical education teacher for 34 years. She will speak on the topic of "Growing and Using Lavender."

Kelly Malone is a second-generation member of a family nursery business that has served the Charlotte area since the late 1970s. Malone's Nursery is a hidden treasure featuring sedums, succulents, cacti, bonsai, tropical and air plants. Malone will speak on the topic of "Growing Succulents."

Dr. Pat Parr is past president of the Cleveland County Master Gardeners Association and has completed the UNC Native Plant Certificate Program. She will speak on the topic of "Propagation: Passing Along Legacy Plants."

"We hope folks will join us to discover more about these topics and to acquire additional tips to enhance their gardening skills," says Eskridge. "Whether you are new to Cleveland County or have gardened here for many years, the presenters will help you learn and grow as a gardener." Vendors, door prizes and lunch will also be available as part of the symposium.

Tickets are $65 each, and preregistration is required by March 4, 2020. Both registration for the symposium and class choices are available by searching for "Cabin Fever" on Eventbrite. For more information, visit www.cleveland.ces.ncsu.edu.

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